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DC Insight - 8/12/22

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Capitol Hill News

Earmarks in Senate bills favor small states, retiring senators 
Roll Call – August 3, 2022 
Appropriations bills for the upcoming fiscal year unveiled in the Senate contain more than 3,100 earmarks totaling almost $7.8 billion. Thanks to retiring GOP Sen. Roy Blunt, ranking member on Labor-HHS-Education. Of Blunt’s $350 million in earmarks, $185 million comes from his subcommittee’s bill, more than any other senator in that legislation, mainly for Health Resources and Services Administration-funded projects at various state colleges and universities. 

House nears vote to send sweeping climate and health care bill to Biden's desk 
NBC News – August 12, 2022 
The House moved closer Friday to pass a sweeping Democratic bill to combat climate change and extend health care coverage Friday, teeing up a vote that would send the legislation to President Joe Biden for his signature. Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act would deliver a major victory for the Democratic Party less than three months before the November midterm elections and cap nearly a year of on-again, off-again internal negotiations, defying numerous near-death experiences for the bill. Resources on the Inflation Reduction Act, including bill summaries, can be found here. Summary of energy and climate investment provisions can be found here.  

Federal News

Remarks by President Biden at Signing of H.R. 4346, “The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022”
White House, Speeches and Remarks – August 9, 2022 
America invented the semiconductors.  They powered NASA’s mission to the Moon. Federal research and development brought down the cost of making them and build a market and an entire industry. As a result, over 30 years ago, America had 40 percent of the global production of these chips.  And then something happened: American manufacturing, the backbone of our economy, was hollowed out, and we let semiconductor manufacturing go overseas. And as a result, today, we barely produce 10 percent of the semiconductors despite being the leader in chips design as well as research. White House fact sheet on the CHIPS and Science Act here.  

Biden administration announces new projects from bipartisan infrastructure law
Roll Call – August 11, 2022 
The Biden administration announced 166 new federal grants Thursday for transportation projects from the bipartisan infrastructure law. The 166 awards, totaling more than $2.2 billion, are the first from funding in the 2021 law for what are called RAISE grants, for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity. RAISE grants — which may include a 20 percent matching fund requirement — can go to a wide variety of entities, including states, territories and Washington, D.C., as well as tribes, cities and regional transportation entities. 

Healthcare News

Health Insurers And 13M Enrollees Cheer Senate’s Extension Of Obamacare Credits 
Forbes – August 7, 2022 
The U.S. Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act Sunday extends subsidies for millions of Americans who buy individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. These subsidies, which had been temporary since the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act last year, increased the financial assistance to those already eligible to buy health insurance under the ACA and also expanded such subsidies to even more largely middle class Americans who were previously priced out of coverage. 

Senate’s Medicare drug pricing may ripple into private market 
Roll Call – August 10, 2022 
Congress is on the verge of passing historic drug pricing legislation that would allow the government to restrict prices for drugs covered by Medicare, but experts disagree on whether drugmakers will shift those costs to the private market. The reconciliation package the Senate passed Sunday includes drug pricing provisions that Democrats have been pushing for decades, including a framework for Medicare to negotiate prices directly with manufacturers, limit price increases to inflation and cap out-of-pocket drug costs for consumers. 

Higher Education News

Supreme Court to hear case that could end 40 years of race-based affirmative action in university admissions 
Fox News – August 11, 2022 
The U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear one of two cases on Oct. 31 that could dismantle the 40-year precedent of race-based affirmative action in university admissions, with universities now urging the court to preserve the decision despite some expert opinion to the contrary. 

Cardona's Vision for Higher Ed 
Inside Higher Ed – August 12, 2022 
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is calling on colleges to change how they approach student success. He unveiled a new grant program for minority-serving institutions and flamed elite universities. 


Reviewed 2022-09-30